The city of Los Angeles will follow suit after the county earlier Wednesday announced their first easing of coronavirus restrictions, allowing some businesses and public spaces to reopen later this week, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
L.A. will enter its first phase of reopening on Friday, with both the city and county allowing curbside pickup at florists, car dealerships and stores that sell toys, books, clothing, sporting goods and music.
County and city hiking trails and golf courses will reopen Saturday. Runyon Canyon will be the only trail to stay closed, and masks and physical distancing will be required on all other trails, Garcetti said.
What’s permitted isn’t necessarily required, and businesses don’t have to reopen until they feel ready, Garcetti said. He also warned that things reopening this weekend could have to close again if the outbreak takes a turn for the worse.
“We are moving this slowly and this deliberately because hasty action kills people,” he said.
The mayor said a more detailed list of guidelines for reopening would be released Thursday. The city also set up a new website to provide updates on its plan for lifting restrictions at coronavirus.lacity.org/saferla.
All travelers at the Los Angeles International Airport and on city transit buses must also wear a face covering starting Monday, the mayor said.
City lawmakers are also considering requiring everyone to wear face masks any time they leave home, according to the Los Angeles Times. Currently, that’s just recommended.
The mayor cautioned that the new rules represent “baby steps forward” after many steps backward.
“We’re not moving beyond COVID-19,” he said. “As I keep saying, we’re learning how to live with it.”
The council on Wednesday also extended its rent freeze for units already regulated under the city’s rent control measure. The order is now set to expire a full year after virus restrictions are fully lifted.
As of Wednesday, the county had confirmed more than 28,600 cases of the respiratory disease, resulting in 1,367 deaths. Both figures account for nearly half of the cases and fatalities reported statewide.
In the city of L.A., 400 new cases were reported Wednesday for a total of 13,868, Garcetti said.
It appears the county is still climbing toward the outbreak’s peak, with an average of 904 new cases and 45 more deaths reported each day over the past week.